Fr. Z’s Voice Mail: A wish for a dying seminarian – ACTION ITEM! #wookies4wes

z-voice-mailIt has been a while since I have posted about my voice mail.  I enjoy your voice mail messages!

FIRST, about the seminarian who is dying from cancer.

[UPDATE: Okay, now she doesn’t want her voice mail here.  Go figure.]

What an awful piece of news.  Hopefully his sufferings will help him to heaven and will edify his brethren so that they live holy lives.


This is a seminarian of the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.

There you go.  Now, folks, do your thing which you do so well.  Spread the word.  This is an official ACTION ITEM.  And the Facebook page is HERE

I remember when Stratford Caldecott was dying, there was a similar initiative. HERE  Even stars of the Captain America: Winter Soldier movie got involved.

So, people activate your networks!  Let’s get this going!

Next… the gal in California:

This guy sounds like he is well motivated, but perhaps not the brightest bulb in the Church’s marquee.  Doing this once is bad enough, but to repeat it, is worse.  This is decidedly NOT allowed.  He was essentially asking people to give a sermon of some sort.  This is like having the head of the finance council talk about the dire state of the parish’s investments (i.e., pass along information)… although the pastor should do that.  Nope… this is a really bad idea.  Imagine the loony stuff people might spout?  No… we don’t have to imagine, do we.  I think we have all heard the awful stuff people come up with for spontaneous prayers of the faithful or, quod Deus avertat, eulogies.   Father should knock this off right away.

Finally, to the nice old gent in England…

To begin, while you were kind to invite me to ring you back, I don’t do that.  Also, I think the article on Hell that you liked might have been in the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald, for which I have been a writer for some years now. My present column is called Omnium Gatherum. It’s available in the print edition, which can bee found in toto online through Exact Editions. I recently wrote a little about Hell from my desire to keep people from going there. Here is a sample:

Speaking of Hell, let’s be clear about something. Hell exists. Holy Church teaches about Hell and the Devil without the possibility of error. The greatest accomplishment of the Devil is to deceive people that he and the fallen angels don’t exist … that there is no Hell … that no one is in Hell, blah blah blah. If you don’t believe in Hell and malicious fallen angels, you are in serious risk of joining them.
Hell isn’t merely like a really long bad cruise. In Hell, the damned suffer the agony of loss and eternal separation from God (hint: unending pain will be a key feature of your eternity). We risk Hell by separating ourselves from God by sinning, by resisting grace, by failing to repent, by not doing what we ought. Never presume that you are automatically saved. If, when you die – and you will die – you are not in the state of grace, not living in the friendship of God, you will go to Hell. Once you are there, that’s it. There is no hope of ever changing your lot even after a million billion years. If you choose that fate, it would be better for you had you never been born (cf Matthew 26:24).
STOP. Imagine what goes through the mind of the damned soul during his first 30 seconds in Hell.
I bring up these harsh realities because I don’t want anyone to go to Hell, myself included. Each day, therefore, examine your conscience.
We must be clear about the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell. Sure, we must also talk about heaven and goodness and joy and kitties and sunshine and birthday cakes. But let’s also get this Hell and Devil thing straightened out because they’ve been neglected for far too long.
Another thing: Priests and bishops who don’t teach about Hell will probably wind up there.

Anyway, about writing to me, I recently posted a postal address (not my residential postal address, but a mailbox), so that people could send Christmas cards.  Click HERE

Thanks! (I hope you see this… I suspect that you read the print edition and don’t spend a lot of time online.)

Please leave me voice mail. I don’t call back, but I listen to it. You have three options:


 020 8133 4535


TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Don’t shout!  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.
  2. Come to your point right away.
  3. Let me know at the onset if I can use it on the blog.  I may be able to anonymize it a little by editing if need be.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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